Gangtok lies between east India and northeast India, acting as the connection between both. When in Gangtok, you will not be short of places to visit. Here are some attractions you must add to your itinerary.
Himalayan Zoological Park
The Himalayan Zoological Park is also called the Gangtok Zoo and is quite unique. This zoo is the first of its kind in northeast India; here animals are kept in semi-natural habitats. Spanning over 230 hectares of forest land, the park elevates from 6,500 to about 8,000 feet. You need to travel about six kilometers from the town of Gangtok to reach the entrance of this zoo. Inside, you will be able to spot many rare and endangered birds and animals including satyr tragopans, clouded leopards, leopard cats, gorals, Lady Amherst pheasants, porcupines, Tibetan wolves, kalij, etc.
Right on the other side of the entrance gate of the Himalayan Zoological Park is Ganesh Tok. A very famous temple of Lord Ganesha, it stands at the height of 6,500 feet. The path to the temple is colorful and positive. Prayer flags are tied and hoisted across the entire distance. The white, red, green, purple, blue and yellow have prayers written on them and are considered important by the locals.
Tok, as you might have understood, means temple. And Hanuman Tok is a temple of Lord Hanuman. This is one of the most famous temples among the people of Sikkim. Located near the army division, the temple is more than a place of prayer. It is a photographers delight as the view of the snow-capped peals of the Khangcendzonga are spellbinding.
When in Gangtok, you must take a ride in the ropeway. You cannot return from the beautiful city without taking an aerial view of the beauty that the city is. The ropeway takes you from the Deorali market to the secretariat and back, with a view that is both breathtaking and exciting.
Also called the Dharmachakra Centre, the Rumtek Monastary was made in the mid-1700s under the guidance of Changchub Dorje, 12th Karmapa Lama. Located about 24 kilometers from the city of Gangtok, the monastery is situated at an altitude of about 4,900 feet. The atmosphere is serene, and the experience of visiting the monastery is something worth writing home about. Monks of all age groups, including little boys, are seen going about with their daily practices, training and prayers. A visit to Gangtok is incomplete without a trip to this monastery.
Right in the heart of the wonderful city of Gangtok is its most happening place – M G Road. A no-traffic, no-plastic, and no-smoking zone, this road is the hub of all activities. Dotted with cafés, eateries and branded as well as local shopping joints, both tourists and locals throng these places in huge numbers. It’s an ideal place to spend the evenings with your partner, friends or family. This is the go-to place for all your shopping needs and gifts for people back home.
Made in the year 1645, Do Drul Chorten has more than a hundred prayer wheels. The wheels have prayers and mantras engraved in them, and it is believed that if you turn these wheels, one can read and chant the prayers along. Connect with your spiritual side, relax your senses and get refreshed in the calm environment.
This 100-foot waterfall is just a short drive of about seven kilometers from the city of Gangtok. The roads are steep, so walking will take a long time in this area. Ban Jhakri means ‘jungle magician/priest,’ and there is a Nepali folklore associated with the place. The lake to which the waterfall plunges is man-made, and the park surrounding it is based on the Shaman culture. The place is a visual delight and should not be missed.
Very famous amongst tourists visiting Gangtok, Tashi View Point is famous for the glorious views of the Khangchendzonga and other hills that it provides. It also has a couple of monasteries around, and they can be visited too.
It is a sin to go to the hills and not visit a tea garden. When in Gangtok, ensure that you make time to visit the Temi Tea Garden. Spread across more than 400 acres, the tea garden is the producer of 100 metric tons of traditional tea every year. Some of the best teas of the world come from this garden. Apart from seeing the process of how teas are grown, you are also gifted with a spectacular view.